Spring's severe storms can seriously damage home cooling and heating systems. After a tornado or hurricane, homeowners need to take several precautions before attempting to salvage or restart cooling and heating equipment.
"It's important to remember not to immediately restart cooling and heating equipment after a flood because it can cause further property damage and/or personal injury," said Jerry Anderson, regional service coordinator for Lennox Industries. "The equipment may be severely damaged, its wiring may be damaged, or it may have debris lodged in it. These are some of the reasons why it's best to have an Airflow qualified service technician inspect your cooling and heating equipment after a severe storm."
Homeowners should not be too anxious to get things back to normal after a storm because improper maintenance and preparation can cause problems years later.
To ensure your safety and prevent further damage to equipment, you should take the following steps after a tornado or hurricane:
If the storm caused flooding, don't start equipment until you are certain there is no water inside any components. If you're not sure, don't start it.
Have a reputable electrician or a technician from the power company or city inspect your home's internal and external wiring to make sure they're dry and safe before you turn on any electrical equipment.
If the power company gives you approval to turn on the electricity in your home, but you think you may have a problem with your cooling or heating equipment, have the service company disconnect the equipment from the electrical source, and call Airflow before you resuming use.
If there was flooding, open equipment and, if possible, get some air circulation going to speed the drying process.